Going to the supermarket, or places like Home Depot and Lowe's can be a big production. As someone who grew up in a big, but dense, tightly-packed city like New York, I had never set foot inside a place like Walmart or Costco or any of these huge superstores before I came here. So, when I first meandered my way into Costco here in New Orleans, I was speechless. I couldn’t see all the way to the back of the store – scratch that – the warehouse. It was a bustling city whose citizens were customers scurrying around, throwing value packs of 50 rolls of toilet paper into their shopping carts to go with their $4 packages of 10 pounds of ground beef.
Even for people accustomed to shopping at these humongous stores, reminiscent of family-friendly death stars, the whole ordeal can be, well, overwhelming to say the least. The stores, to their credit, are very well laid-out and organized, and the staff are helpful and know where everything can be found, but the sheer size and crowdedness can be intimidating and even frustrating at times, when you have to cover about a mile of total ground to get everything you need.
However, Walmart just made the whole process of shopping at their gargantuan stores a whole lot easier. On Wednesday, June 22, Walmart made a huge announcement. Three of their locations in Louisiana-- all in the New Orleans area-- will now offer online ordering. The three locations are the Walmarts in Slidell (167 North Shore Blvd.), Kenner (300 W. Esplanade Ave.), and the one just south of Covington (880 U.S. 190). This will allow patrons to order anything they want online, pay online, and then schedule a time to arrive in their very own reserved parking area, to which employees will bring the customers’ purchased products to be loaded into their vehicles.
This new development in the shopping world, with Walmart being one of the biggest superstores in America, is a huge step in the right direction, at least in terms of convenience. It will save customers enormous amounts of time; generally, a trip to Walmart would take at the very least an hour door-to-door. Now, one can simply spend 15 minutes picking out what they want online and then drive on up to one of the participating locations. They'll be able to pick up their groceries and drive away happy, without that notorious “Finally, I’m out of that place crawling with people trying to get the last bulk package of gator jerky,” we’re all so familiar with.
If this new development goes as well as it seems it will, it will leave customers with a sense of relief and satisfaction. Additionally, it might make the company more money, with customers more willing to spend time buying possibly unnecessary products while at home, safe on their computer, instead of in the store. And it will leave the store locations less overwhelmingly crowded, which are all good things. This progress, if it all goes well, might just pave the way to a whole new era of online shopping for these types of superstores, which would leave both the customers and the suppliers very happy.